If Your Power Went Out Yesterday You Need to Toss These Foods Now
There are over 100,000 Hudson Valley residents still without power from yesterday's storm. All of them need to throw out most of the foods in their refrigerator right now.
Central Hudson and Orange & Rockland are attempting to piece back the power grid to many residents of the Hudson Valley that lost power during yesterday's tropical storm. With trees ripping power lines from poles and homes, full restoration may not happen until this weekend.
While the power companies love to give out dry ice to residents during situations like this, in the summertime it's sadly too little too late. The truth of the matter is, if you lost power yesterday you will need to throw out most of the contents of your refrigerator right now.
According to the USDA, most perishable items in your refrigerator will only last for four hours in a power outage. Any meat, poultry or seafood that goes above 40 degrees is dangerous to eat. Most refrigerators run anywhere from 32 to 40 degrees, so within just four hours that food will already be growing bacteria.
And it's not just raw meat. The USDA also recommends tossing any soft, shredded or low-fat cheese, milk, eggs, mayo, spaghetti sauce, cooked pasta, cooked vegetables, leftover meals, and more.
There are, however, some foods that you can still keep in your refrigerator for a while after it goes above 40 degrees. Grated cheese, bakery items, fresh veggies, ketchup, pickles and vinegar-based condiments should all survive a lengthy power outage in a cool refrigerator.
The good news is that frozen items will last a bit longer. A half-full freezer should be ok for 24 hours. If your freezer is fully packed, you might even get two days out of it. If there are ice crystals still on your foods you should be able to refreeze them when the power comes back on. Defrosted food and melted ice cream, however, should immediately be thrown out.
A complete list of foods you can keep, or need to toss from your refrigerator and freezer is available on the USDA's website.